Federal Indigent Defense 2015: The Independence Imperative

Indigent Defense 2015 Report In the wake of the severe cuts to the provision of indigent defense services during sequestration in 2013, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) created a Federal Indigent Defense Task Force to examine the federal indigent defense system. The mission included an assessment of the level of independence afforded to the Defender Services Office and consideration of whether reforms are necessary to ensure adherence to the ABA’s Ten Principles of a Public Defense Delivery System. After extensive research and more than 130 interviews with key stakeholders, the Task Force identified several significant, persistent deficiencies in the system. This report explores those concerns and offers seven recommendations to assure a robust federal indigent defense system.

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Media inquiries should be directed to NACDL’s Director of Public Affairs & Communications, Ivan J. Dominguez, at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org.

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